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Expat remittances to reach SR 109 billion this year

Remittances of foreign workers in the Kingdom to their home countries are predicted to climb to nearly SR 109 billion during the current year (2013), an economic expert told local media.
Remittances of expatriates exceeded SR 700 billion during the last 10 years, Fahad bin Jumaa was quoted by Al-Riyadh daily as saying.
Economic experts have expressed the need to expand e-payments instead of cash payments, penalize expatriates violating work regulations and minimize remittances made outside the banking system, the paper said.
The Ministry of Labor earlier launched the wage protection program (WPP), which has been implemented from the middle of the current year gradually and is expected to take one year to complete, the paper said.
The ministry is eager to implement the WPP and plans to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance of not awarding new contracts to those who are violating the WPP in addition to devising certain guidelines whereby the program will cover house maids during the next period, the paper said.
Saudi Arabia was ranked first among Arab countries and third globally in terms of the volume of remitted funds going to the developing countries at $ 28.4 billion, a World Bank report said.
According to Western Union, a money transfer specialist firm, the volume of remittances in the Kingdom crossed the SR 420 billion mark in four years. More than 25 percent of money remitted to the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries came from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the report said.

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